Or at least I have been feeling like one lately. My blog is about being active with your dog but the truth is that I have been spending more time on the couch in my jammies eating jumk food than outside being active. I do have a good excuse but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it.
Chester and Gretel are super healthy and fit. I feed them high quality, natural food; I watch their calories and physique and adjust calories up or down to keep them at the ideal weight; and I try to do things now that will help keep them healthy in the future. I feel like a hypocrite though because I eat junk food, don’t watch my calories, and have not regularly been doing anything to help protect my health.
I want to be honest and share my struggle with you because I know I am not alone. It’s not uncommon for people to put taking care of themselves on the back burner when life circumstances make it difficult. As we watch our fitness and health slip, we don’t feel good but we feel like doing something about it is too daunting or futile.
Besides being in denial, I haven’t shared this part of me with you because I didn’t want to be a downer or be seen an a whiner. I feel like it is time though.
When I started this blog four years ago I was hiking with Chester and Gretel at least once a week. A year later, my previous back pain returned with a vengeance. I thought it was my old back injury flaring up but it turns out that I have a hereditary condition that has left me with a cracked tailbone that puts pressure on my spinal cord. I also had a wonky gallbladder for two years and didn’t know it. I don’t know the medical explanation of how that effected my body but, basically, I constantly felt sick and exhausted.
It was a downhill slide from there. I became less and less active over the next couple of years.
I feel like an impostor because people think I am fit but I am totally not. I think they perceive me as fit because I could go out and hike one of the toughest trails in Western Washington tomorrow but what they don’t realize its all mental fortitude – anyone COULD do it if they set their mind to it like me. When I do those kinds of things, I am sure I am going to die 🙂 I also feel like an impostor because I play out this fantasy in my head where I live an active, adventurous life when in reality, I am a weekend warrior once or twice a month at best.
I think I had a breakthrough at the end of last year. One gallbladder lighter, and on medication to manage my chronic back pain, I found myself feeling better than I had in years. I admitted to myself that I may not be able do the exact active things I had been doing before in exactly the same way I had been doing them. Little by little I started moving more and finding out what I CAN still do. I started to feel stronger.
For some reason, something sparked inside of me when I read Just A Colorado Gal’s blog the other day. She does a lot of long-distance trail running and an I always admire how fit she is and how easy it comes for her. Then I learned that her journey to 20-mile trails runs started where I am now – on the couch. She also struggles with medial conditions like asthma and food allergies. She is able to manage these things and still live an active lifestyle. Something just clicked.
So what did I do? I committed to doing yoga twice a week to try and help my back, bought a (affiliate link) Fitbit Surge activity monitor, got some really cool running shoes that hold the possibility of allowing me to run again, and signed up for a trail half marathon in June (although I know I will probably have to walk most of it).
I know that sounds like a lot but I am finally ready to take control of my health again and having goals is key for me. I admit that I am a bit scared because I have made public fitness commitments before and failed. I am going to give this renewed commitment a try anyway knowing that, even if I on’t make my goal, I will be making progress toward a healthier life.
This new path I am on will not take over the blog. Since I already write about being active with Chester and Gretel, cool products for active dogs, and cool product for active people you probably won’t notice much of a difference. However, I may be more inclined to include my personal struggles along the way. I hope you follow me and I hope that my sharing will inspire at least one person to embrace a healthier life.
Have you struggled with staying fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle?